Fourplay - Snowbound (Warner Bros) Putting this record on, you are swiftly transported back to the hours spent in hectic Christmas shopping - for this sounds like a soundtrack to those December Sundays wasted in shopping arcades and cafes. Slick, cosy and artificial, the easy-listening jazz that makes up Snowbound epitomises what you hear in boutiques, restaurants and probably lifts too. Admittedly, this fact alone would explain why this record would set the tills ringing, for Snowbound is just the record for yuppies with state-of-the-art hi-fi systems - these flawless jazzy instrumentals of Christmas numbers are easy-listening with sturdy basslines and masterful guitar tricks. Snowbound is banality manifested in its most blatant form, and an example of how commercialism has managed to bleed traditional songs dry, churning out desensitised versions of carols that have no human touch at all. Fourplay might be shifting the discs, but even a million people can be wrong. Snowbound, however, provides food for thought: this is a record of fake jazzy schmaltz sucking the spirit off fake Christmassy tracks, all for the sake of populist taste. If you want to find out how crass a modern Christmas record can sound, Snowbound is the answer - in fact, spending an hour at a mall listening to in-house muzak will probably provide you with similar inspiration.